Disco distraction


That’s what we need. Late 70’s, we also got gas price hike.

We got “a crisis of confidence”. And we got Middle East hostage situation that drove Nightline ratings over the top.  But we also got disco. It helped.

Distraction did not solve any problem. It just got our minds off the situation at hand. For however long the studio, most famous of all, 54, still opened.

Shiny shirts, bell-bottom pants, and yes, the disco ball.

Travolta, the Soul Train and the Bee Gees.

Everybody boogied.

Everybody heard of or listened to “Le Freak“.

Actually, it’s not the kind of music to be listened to, like “Air on the G-string“.

It’s dance music.

And for 15 minutes (Andy Warhol was there at studio 54) of fame, the disco era was gone.

For good.

Dancing Queen (no longer seventeen) and the Abba, all gone.

The hostage rescue effort failed. The Star Wars shield was dreamed up then took the Wall down along with it.

The Challenger went up in flame while the Concord got canned.

Now, NASA has to hitch a ride, and the Chinese bullet train hit its target (another train going on the opposite track). Everybody outspent their allotted 15 minutes of fame. Middle Eastern and Western terrorists also got their air time and equal time (Fort Hood in uniform vs Oslo, also in uniform).

I know now why we need a disco distraction: it arrived at the time when race, gender and class were all blended on the dance floor, under the ball. As long as you can afford some tight clothes, hitch a ride across the Brooklyn Bridge, then you are in.

Take your turn in the middle of the circle, and take some steam off (Saturday Night Fever).

Everybody got his/her turn in that tribal circle and the DJ was our Priest.

We melted from one disco song to another and the beat carried us through the night. Distraction? yes. Destruction? no.

Fast forward to 2011, everybody forms into “circles” (we used to call it cliques).

And with google’s SEO, google’s Plus etc…we only hear and see what we most want to “search” ( selective revelation and association). To stand out, we must pay attention to personal branding and (first) page-ranking.

No wonder the Oslo’s terrorist planned ahead not only his exit, but also his defense, his manifesto, and his image (preppy crusader and defender of an imperial past), all well crafted to maximize his allotted 15 minutes of fame. And we (and the cable news media) ate it up.

Without disco distraction, we have to face gas price, debt talk, and death toll with nowhere to turn to, except online, his planned pulpit for hate and intolerance. Disco, a distraction? Yes. The Oslo terrorist, a destruction? Yes. Now we know who is “Le Freak”.

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